Sylvia Rowe Fellowship

While the Sylvia Rowe Fellowship provides a great science communication opportunity, it is with great sadness but a grounding reality that we have realized it is best to not offer the fellowship in 2021. Trust us, we had tissues on standby for tears as the IFIC team made this decision.  

We are honored to work with so many dynamic students and take great pride in the experience we are able to offer our Fellows each year – from the creation of IFIC resources to participating in federal agency meetings to networking with the food and nutrition community in DC, Fellows come away from their time at IFIC with an enhanced communications skill set and a higher level of connectivity to individuals working in this field. With uncertainty about our ability to offer an engaging in-person experience to a Fellow in 2021, we have made the decision to defer the Fellowship until 2022 (tentatively).  

Please note the details below to prepare for when we are back up and running. We regret that you will not be able to join us this year, and we look forward to starting fresh in 2022! 

The Sylvia Rowe Fellowship Award was established as a tribute to the former International Food Information Council (IFIC) President & CEO, Sylvia B. Rowe, to help promising nutrition, food production and food safety communicators further develop and cultivate their communication skills.

The goal of this award is to enhance the recipient’s communications skill set that he or she will then apply to conveying nutrition, food production and food safety information to the public in an academic setting, professional situation (either for-profit or nonprofit sector) or other public venue.

The recipient will be awarded an 8–12 week paid internship ($600 per/week) at the IFIC/IFIC Foundation offices in Washington, DC. The internship needs to be completed by the end of 2020.

What do past fellows have to say about their experience?

Our 2019 Sylvia Rowe Fellow, Courtney Schupp, was an integral part of the IFIC team, crafting nutrition and food ingredient content for the website and participating in key meetings, projects and conferences.

“My experience with the IFIC team was unlike any other I’ve had. Weeks were filled with writing, designing, researching and lots of learning. As a registered dietitian, the skills I learned from my twelve weeks will be invaluable for my future career. One of my greatest takeaways is that communication is much more nuanced than I expected. While I had prior experience communicating basic nutrition guidelines one-on-one with clients, communicating to the general public was a completely different world. I’ve learned how to gently approach commonly contested subject matter as well as use science and evidence to explain these topics. I’ve had a chance to engage on social media and see how the public engages with different platforms and messaging. 

“Beyond the desk, IFIC also gave me some outstanding opportunities to network and learn from both public and private industry folks. I learned how government regulations are created or changed after attending FDA and Dietary Guidelines meetings; I learned how meat and dairy farms operate after interacting with both animals and farmers on a Virginia farm tour; and I learned more about the vast field of nutrition and dietetics while attending my first FNCE. I’m eager to continue my career equipped with the knowledge and skills in communication that I learned here at IFIC.” 

To Apply

Prospective applicants must be currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within 12 months from the time of application) from a graduate level (MS, MD, or PhD)  program in nutrition, food science, and/or journalism/communications. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

Please refer to the following checklist of requirements to ensure completeness of the application packet:

Applicants Need to Supply:

  • Transcripts  of all undergraduate and graduate course work completed to date. Official transcripts are preferred; however, unofficial transcripts are accepted.
  • Three (3) original letters of recommendation.  At least ONE must be from a program or department head. If the applicant has recently resumed educational studies, one letter of recommendation may be sent by someone who has worked with the applicant on a professional basis.
  • Resume  that lists the following background information:
    • All scholarships, awards, fellowships or grants previously or currently held. Indicate the amount of each and the date received.
    • Summary of work experience; include any teaching, research or communication positions.
      Publications and professional presentations. Give complete citations for all publications; give names, dates and locations of professional presentations.
    • Current professional memberships. Designate any offices held with each organization.
  • List of planned academic programs/courses, if applicable. Include the institution, department, credit hours, course title, and a brief description.
  • Letter of Intent: In 250 words or less, describe the skills and experiences that merit the award of this scholarship. Explain how the internship will develop your communication skills to enhance public understanding of nutrition and food safety issues.
  • A consumer-friendly blog post busting your favorite food or nutrition myth. The blog post should be no more than 400 words.
  • Completed application form

Applications for 2021 will be due in early 2021. Check back in late 2020 for more updates.

Email all application materials to: 

Tamika Sims, PhD, 

For inquiries:

Contact:  Tamika Sims and/or Ali Webster

This Fellowship is only eligible to individuals residing in the United States who are U.S. citizens. IFIC is unable to accept international applicants, even if they have been awarded a visa.